In a career that has crossed 50 years (and which was still going strong in the opening decade of the twenty-first century), Joe Brown has cut a unique swathe across British rock & roll. Born Joseph Roger Brown in Swarby, Lincolnshire in 1941, he was raised in London. Brown proved a natural guitarist from an early age, and in 1956, at age 15, he formed the Spacemen, a skiffle group through which he started his career in entertainment. The band -- whose ranks included bassist Peter Oakman and his older brother Tony Oakman on banjo and guitar -- later switched to rock & roll, and was subsequently spotted by impresario Larry Parnes, who was in the process of signing up lots of young vocal talent in an effort to get in on the rock & roll boom. The Spacemen became Parnes' resident band, backing such figures as Vince Eager, Johnny Gentle, and Marty Wilde on the early Parnes package tours. The group also had the good fortune to be spotted by producer Jack Good, who was putting together the house band for his new television music showcase Boy Meets Girl. Brown was already a prodigious player, and he was hired as lead guitarist for the house orchestra at the age of 18 -- he was proficient in authentic American-style rock & roll, country, and country-blues, and stood out from most of the competition around him.